Radio Handset - Patent 7433466

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Radio Handset - Patent 7433466 Powered By Docstoc
					


United States Patent: 7433466


































 
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	United States Patent 
	7,433,466



 Mason
 

 
October 7, 2008




Radio handset



Abstract

A rear cover of a radio handset having a scooped recess for improving the
     ergonomics of the phone for single-handed operation.


 
Inventors: 
 Mason; Mark Robert (Hertfordshire, GB) 
 Assignee:


Nokia Mobile Phones Limited
 (Espoo, 
FI)





Appl. No.:
                    
10/931,133
  
Filed:
                      
  August 30, 2004

 Related U.S. Patent Documents   
 

Application NumberFiling DatePatent NumberIssue Date
 08915995Aug., 19976785386
 29074181Jul., 1997D405752
 29074182Jul., 1997D405048
 29067200Feb., 1997D392967
 29067199Feb., 1997D407368
 29066791Feb., 1997D407088
 

 
Foreign Application Priority Data   
 

May 02, 1997
[GB]
9708951.0



 



  
Current U.S. Class:
  379/433.01  ; 379/428.01
  
Current International Class: 
  H04M 1/00&nbsp(20060101); H04M 9/00&nbsp(20060101)
  
Field of Search: 
  
  







 379/428.01,433.01-433.08,434 455/90.3,575.1 D14/138,147,248
  

References Cited  [Referenced By]
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3792205
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O'Dea

4335280
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Butchko

D289896
May 1987
Martensson et al.

D299719
February 1989
Martensson et al.

D302423
July 1989
Martensson et al.

4945633
August 1990
Hakanen et al.

5036432
July 1991
Uronen et al.

5045973
September 1991
Saarela et al.

D320984
October 1991
Tattari

D325576
April 1992
Pitkonen

D325577
April 1992
Karlin

D326262
May 1992
Soren et al.

D334926
April 1993
Hunt et al.

5239700
August 1993
Guenther et al.

D339338
September 1993
Tattari et al.

D341138
November 1993
Cummings

D345734
April 1994
Seymour et al.

D347220
May 1994
Katoh

D349112
July 1994
Tattari

5332322
July 1994
Gambaro

D352708
November 1994
Rossi

D353807
December 1994
White

D353809
December 1994
Nuovo et al.

D354284
January 1995
White

5383091
January 1995
Snell

D355184
February 1995
Yokonchi

D356561
March 1995
Berry

D356562
March 1995
Nuovo

D356563
March 1995
Berry

D359283
June 1995
Rudkiewicz

D361328
August 1995
White

D361762
August 1995
Berry

D364620
November 1995
Prior et al.

D374006
September 1996
Tattari

D374007
September 1996
Tattari

D380751
July 1997
Williams

D391253
February 1998
Meyer

D392283
March 1998
Giordano, Jr. et al.

5768369
June 1998
Zoiss et al.

D398925
September 1998
Wicks

5898932
April 1999
Zurlo et al.



 Foreign Patent Documents
 
 
 
0 156 297
Oct., 1985
EP

2 255 471
Nov., 1992
GB

2 303 018
Feb., 1997
GB



   Primary Examiner: Kuntz; Curtis


  Assistant Examiner: Nguyen; Tuan D


  Attorney, Agent or Firm: Harrington & Smith, PC



Parent Case Text



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS


This is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/915,995
     filed Aug. 21, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,785,386, which is a
     continuation-in-part patent application of U.S. patent application Ser.
     No. 29/067,200 filed Feb. 21, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. Des. 392,967, and a
     continuation-in-part patent application of U.S. patent application No.
     29/067,199 filed Feb. 21, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. Des. 407,368, and a
     continuation-in-part patent application of U.S. patent application Ser.
     No. 29/066,791 filed Feb. 21, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. Des. 407,088, and a
     continuation-in-part patent application of U.S. patent application Ser.
     No. 29/074,181 filed Jul. 25, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. Des. 405,752, and a
     continuation-in-part patent application of U.S. patent application Ser.
     No. 29/074,182 filed Jul. 25, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. Des. 405,048, which
     are all hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

Claims  

What is claimed is:

 1.  An electronic device housing providing at least a portion of a cover for an electronic device, the electronic device having a front operating face including an earpiece
section and a microphone section, the housing at least partially forming a rear side of the cover and comprising a recessed surface at least partially constrained by at least one bank at a junction of the bank with the recessed surface, the recessed
surface being sized and positioned so as to receive and support a plurality of fingers of a user to properly orient the electronic device relative to a user's ear during a telephone call with the electronic device, wherein the recessed surface extends
across a majority of a width of the housing for receiving the plurality of fingers, and wherein the recessed surface forms an open finger contact surface for the fingers.


 2.  An electronic device housing as in claim 1 wherein the housing comprise a rear casing of a battery and a rear cover member of the housing.


 3.  A telephone handset housing providing at least a portion of a cover of a telephone handset, the telephone handset having a front operating face including an earpiece and a microphone, the housing at least partially forming a rear side of the
cover and comprising a recess at least partially constrained by banks at a junction of the recess with the banks, the recess being sized and positioned so as to receive and support fingers of a user, wherein the recess extends across a majority of a
width of the rear side and the recess is sized and positioned to receive and support a plurality of the fingers of the user to properly orient the telephone handset during a telephone call, and wherein the recess comprises a finger contact surface
bordered by the banks which extends across an entire width of the recess, the finger contact surface being open for the fingers of the user to contact.


 4.  A telephone handset housing as in claim 3 wherein the housing comprise a rear casing of a battery and a rear cover member of the housing.


 5.  An electronic device housing providing at least a portion of a cover of an electronic device, the electronic device having a front operating face including an earpiece section and a keypad, the housing at least partially forming a rear side
of the cover and comprising a recessed surface area at least partially surrounded by a bank area of the cover with at least one curved wall at a junction of the bank area with the recessed surface area, the recessed surface area extending across a
majority of a width of the rear side of the cover, wherein the recessed surface area is sized and shaped such that a finger of a user is adapted to be supported in the recessed surface area adjacent the bank area along the curved wall to properly orient
the electronic device during use with the earpiece section proximate an ear of the user, and wherein the recessed surface area comprises a finger contact surface which extends across a majority of a width of the recessed surface area and is open to allow
the fingers of the user to contact any area on the finger contact surface.


 6.  An electronic device housing as in claim 5 wherein the housing comprise a rear casing of a battery and a rear cover member of the housing.


 7.  An electronic device housing providing at least a portion of a cover for an electronic device, the electronic device having a front operating face including an earpiece section, the housing at least partially forming a rear side of the cover
and comprising a recessed surface at least partially constrained by at least one relatively raised bank at a junction of the bank with the recessed surface, the recessed surface being sized and positioned so as to receive and support a finger of a user
at a plurality of different locations to properly orient the earpiece section of the electronic device relative to a user's ear during a telephone call with the electronic device, wherein the recessed surface extends across a majority of a width of the
housing for receiving the finger at any one of the plurality of different locations on the recessed surface, wherein the recessed surface forms an open finger contact surface for the finger.


 8.  An electronic device housing as in claim 7 wherein the housing comprise a rear casing of a battery and a rear cover member of the housing.


 9.  An apparatus housing providing at least a portion of a cover for an apparatus, the apparatus having a front operating face including a user output device, the housing at least partially forming a rear side of the cover and comprising a
recessed surface at least partially constrained by at least one bank at a junction of the bank with the recessed surface, the recessed surface being sized and positioned so as to receive and support a plurality of fingers of a user to properly orient the
apparatus relative to a user during use, wherein the recessed surface extends across a majority of a width of the housing for receiving the plurality of fingers, and wherein the recessed surface forms an open finger contact surface for the fingers.


 10.  An apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the user output device is a display.


 11.  An apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the user output device is an earpiece.  Description  

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


The invention relates to a radio handset and user interface thereto.


The user interface, ie those elements of the handset that interact with the user is of vital importance.  Important user interface considerations include, the ease with which the phone can be operated, the ease with which it can be transported
and the comfort of use.


In the past, emphasis has been placed on designing the front of a handset, making it smaller and designing relatively large displays that allow information to be clearly presented to a user.  As handsets become smaller they are better adapted for
single hand operation.  With this comes a range of other considerations.


Single handed operation or a radio telephone has clear advantages.  These can only be realised effectively if the user finds it comfortable to operate the telephone when it is held in one hand.  As modern phones are becoming increasingly small it
is for the phone designer to assist in design of the phone to promote single handed operation.


SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


In accordance with the present invention there is provided a housing component providing at least part of the rear cover of a radio handset having a front operating face including an earpiece, the component being configured to allow a laterally
constrained indentation to be formed in the assembled rear cover dipping below a horizon defined by banks of the indentation which are located towards the sides of the radio telephone.


The indentation in the rear of the phone can be used to comfortably accommodate one or more of the user's fingers when the handset is placed to the user's ear in conversation or held in the hand for dialling or other data input.  As such it can
be considered to be part of the user interface.


The bank surrounding the indentation is preferably arranged to support the radio handset with stability against lateral rotation on a generally planar surface.  This allows the handset to be also used in the alternative for entering data via a
key pad located on the operating face when not hand held.


The location of an indentation in the rear of the phone can be used to promote a desired orientation of a handset in use.  By designing the indentation to be suitably sized to comfortably accommodate one or more fingers of the user's hand, the
user, who is likely to hold the handset in the most comfortable position, can be encouraged to hold the radio telephone at an optimum orientation.


The indentation is preferably located towards the end of the phone containing the earpiece/speaker to support the digits of the user's hand when holding the handset to the ear. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings of which:


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a radio handset;


FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the handset of FIG. 1;


FIG. 3 is a side view of the radio handset of FIG. 1;


FIG. 4 is a rear view of the handset of FIG. 1;


FIG. 5 shows the scooped recess of FIG. 1 in perspective;


FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the handset of FIG. 1;


FIG. 7 is a rear view of another embodiment of the invention; and


FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the rear of the handset of FIG. 7.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION


FIG. 1 shows a handset 1 according to an embodiment of the invention.  The handset 1 comprises a user interface having a keypad 7, a display 3, an on/off button 4, an earpiece 5, and a microphone 6.  The keypad has a first group 7 of keys in the
form of alpha-numerical keys, by means of which the user can enter a telephone number, write a text message (SMS), write a name (associated with the telephone number), etc. The user uses the first group of keys primarily for entering data in the
telephone (enter events).


The keypad additionally comprises a second group of keys which, in this embodiment, comprises an operation key 8 or soft key whose function depends on the present state of the telephone.  The default function or the present function of the
operation key 8 is displayed in a predetermined area of the display 3.  The second group of keys additionally comprises a scroll key 9 by means of which the user can scroll selectively from one item to the preceding or the succeeding item in the menu
loop of the telephone, while he gets access to a submenu loop under the item concerned in the main menu loop by activation of the operation key.  The clear key 10 may be used e.g. for erasing the digit or letter entered last by brief depression, while
depression of a longer duration will erase the entire number or word.


The handset may be used in connection with telephone networks, such as GSM and AMPS cellular networks and various forms of cordless telephone systems.  A microphone records the user's speech, and the analog signals formed thereby are A/D
converted in an A/D converter before the speech is encoded in an audio codec unit.  The encoded speech signal is transferred to a physical layer processor, which, for example, supports the GSM terminal software.  The processor also forms the interface to
the peripheral units of the apparatus, including the display and the keypad (as well as SIM, data, power supply, RAM, ROM, etc.).  The processor communicates with an RF part via a baseband converter and a channel equalizer.  The audio codec unit
speech-decodes the signal, which is transferred from the processor to an earpiece via a D/A converter.


The rear cover 20 of the handset 1 is depicted in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5.  A scooped recess 21 can clearly be seen located above a battery pack 22 and extending toward the top of the rear cover of the handset 1.  The scooped recess 21 is positioned
substantially behind the handset's display 3 and in a position arranged to comfortably accommodate the user's fingers when the earpiece 5 of the handset is held to the user's ear.


The scoop is lateral confined by banks 23, 24 within the margins of the rear cover of the handset.  The addition of a scooped recess encourages the user to hold the phone in a particular way as the feel of the phone in the hand is enhanced if one
of more of the the user's fingers are placed in the scooped recess.  The position of the scoop can be used to encourage the user to hold the handset in a predetermined manner which can be used to enhance the operating characteristics of the radio handset
particularly those related to single-handed operation of the handset.


As can be seen best in FIGS. 4 and 5, the scooped recess 21 comprises curved walls 52.  The curved walls 52 are part of the recessed surface area 50 which forms the scooped recess 21 at the junction 54 of the banks 23, 24 with the recessed
surface area 50.  As noted above, the scooped recess encourages the user to hold the phone in a particular way.  The feel of the phone in the hand is enhanced if one or more of the user's fingers are placed in the scooped recess.  As noted above, the
scooped recess 21 comfortably accommodates the user's fingers.


The scooped recess improves the ergonomics of the handset.  Such positioning enables the handset to be operated more comfortably by the user.  It is particularly agreeable to hold the handset in one hand and operate the keys with the thumb.  The
natural position the hand is inclined to take when nestling a handset with a scooped recess in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention means that the alphanumeric keys and in particular the scroll key are within reach for the user's thumb
as it moves naturally across the front face of the phone.  No unnatural extension of the thumb along a vertical axis is required to operate the scroll key.  Also, the depression of the scroll key only requires movement of the thumb from its socket and
does not require any other hand movement.  Hence, the handset can be held and readily operated using the same hand.


The positioning of the scroll key 9 obliquely improves the ergonomics of the handset.  Such positioning enables the key to be operated more comfortably by the user.  It is particularly agreeable as the two depressible elements of the scroll key
are within reach of the user's thumb as it moves naturally across the front face of the phone.  No unnatural extension of the thumb along a vertical axis is required.  Also, the depression of these elements of the scroll key 9 only requires movement of
the thumb from its socket and does not require any other hand movement.  Hence, the handset can be held and the scroll key readily operated using the same hand.


Although depicted in this embodiment located directly above the battery of the handset, the scooped recess 21 could, in other embodiments, be formed at least partly by the rear casing of the battery.  The scooped recess 21 could be larger or
smaller than that depicted in figures 4 and 6.  Such an embodiment is illustrated in figures 7 and 8 of the drawings in which like features are designated with like numerals.  The design and position of the recess is not critical, it is desirably,
however, configured to accommodate finger tips of a user when holding the radio handset 1 to the ear during conversation.  The position directly above the battery 22, especially if the battery catch 25 is placed at its upper extreme as illustrated in
figure 4, makes it easier for the user to depress any release mechanism for withdrawal of the battery.


The rear case surrounding the scooped recess 21 including the banks 23 and 24 is configured, for convenience to avoid lateral rocking or listing when the handset 1 is placed rear cover downmost on a generally flat surface.


This ensures that data entry, can also be conveniently effected when the handset is placed on, for example, a desk if not hand held.


To further ergonomic advantage, a second recess 26 is located towards the base of the rear cover of the handset as an alternative addition to the scooped recess at towards the top of the rear casing.  This recess neatly nestles the user's palm
pad at the base of the thumb promoting extra comfort when the user is operating the handset with one hand and therefore encourages this mode of operation of the handset.  In combination with the scooped recess 21, this feature can have a significant
effect on the natural operating position of the handset when held by a user and can, accordingly, promote a preferred position of the handset in the hand to promote single handed operation or perhaps directionality of an antenna 27.


The second recess 26 in the embodiment illustrated is generally wider laterally and shorter longitudinally than the scooped recess 21 positioned towards the top of the rear cover of the handset 1.  In this embodiment, the second recess is formed
partly from the profile of the housing of the battery pack 22, although in other embodiments, all or none of the second recess may be formed in the profile of the casing of the battery pack 22.  The second recess 26 is seen in more detail with reference
to FIG. 6.


The configuration of the scooped recess for this embodiment can be more clearly seen with reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 6.  The top of the scooped recess can clearly be seen in FIG. 2 allowing some longitudinal rocking of the handset when placed
on, for example, a table.  The rear cover surrounding the recess could, however be configured to maintain the handset against both lateral and longitudinal listing.  The banks of the recess defining its lateral extent can also clearly be seen in FIG. 2. 
From FIG. 3 it is clear that the recess of this embodiment cannot be seen in side profile promoting the lateral stability of the handset when placed on a planar surface.


The present invention includes any novel feature or combination of features disclosed herein either explicitly or any generalisation thereof irrespective of whether or not it relates to the claimed invention or mitigates any or all of the
problems addressed.


In view of the foregoing description it will be evident to a person skilled in the art that various modifications may be made within the scope of the invention.


* * * * *























				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: The invention relates to a radio handset and user interface thereto.The user interface, ie those elements of the handset that interact with the user is of vital importance. Important user interface considerations include, the ease with which the phone can be operated, the ease with which it can be transportedand the comfort of use.In the past, emphasis has been placed on designing the front of a handset, making it smaller and designing relatively large displays that allow information to be clearly presented to a user. As handsets become smaller they are better adapted forsingle hand operation. With this comes a range of other considerations.Single handed operation or a radio telephone has clear advantages. These can only be realised effectively if the user finds it comfortable to operate the telephone when it is held in one hand. As modern phones are becoming increasingly small itis for the phone designer to assist in design of the phone to promote single handed operation.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIONIn accordance with the present invention there is provided a housing component providing at least part of the rear cover of a radio handset having a front operating face including an earpiece, the component being configured to allow a laterallyconstrained indentation to be formed in the assembled rear cover dipping below a horizon defined by banks of the indentation which are located towards the sides of the radio telephone.The indentation in the rear of the phone can be used to comfortably accommodate one or more of the user's fingers when the handset is placed to the user's ear in conversation or held in the hand for dialling or other data input. As such it canbe considered to be part of the user interface.The bank surrounding the indentation is preferably arranged to support the radio handset with stability against lateral rotation on a generally planar surface. This allows the handset to be also used in the alternative for entering data via akey pad located on the